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Educational objectives

The student will learn the fundamentals of graphic design, the structural bases to approach the project theme with critical ability.  The student will be geared toward conscious realization and the attribution of meaning to artifacts realized during Lab classes. He will be able to choose, decode and realize signs, symbols, codes. He will compare cultural contexts and relationship among disciplines. He will be able to understand weight and hierarchy, rhythm and space, relationship between form and content. The course will lay the foundations, ‘directing’ with a multidisciplinary approach, towards communication design.


We will examine: the graphic field, space organization, symmetry and asymmetry, positive and negative, rhythm and repetition, patterns, hierarchy of the elements, proportions. Typography, comprehensions of elements and function, digital typography, typesetting, use and development of expressive concepts, readability.

The concept of sign and symbol. From pictogram to trade mark. The definition of colour, additive and subtractive colours, rgb, cmyk, the Pantone system. The anthropological concept of image, photographic framing techniques, cutting, the choice. The elements of a pagination cage, developing ability to synthesize, the bases of corporate image. Materiality, paper, formats, typologies,  folds, packaging and binding. Digital components, printing and pre-printing, main printing techniques.

Teaching methods

Participatory teaching,  practical exercises and real-world design. Vision in class of  particularly interesting contemporary project examples (screenings and material related to production of important protagonists of design and communication). Some guests will talk about their activity to bring a direct experience and involve all students. Visits will be planned to discover work in typographies and to see exhibitions and/or significant design projects.

Assessment methods

During the didactic period, all practice exercises must be done, completed and submitted within the time specified.  A written test in the second half of the teaching period  shall verify the knowledge of subjects proposed. The test will consist of a final vision of the personal book containing all exercises and a discussion with the final grade. The exchange phase is a constant feature during Lab classes both with a one-to-one and  a collective approach. Project quality, participation intensity and group work availability are positively evaluated.

Recommended texts:

—  Falcinelli: Guardare, pensare, progettare. Neuroscienze per il design, Stampa Alternativa

—  Falcinelli: Critica portatile al visual design. Einaudi

—  Ambrose, Harris: Il libro del Layout. Zanichelli

—  The Vignelli Canon disponibile in rete gratuitamente in inglese o in forma cartacea in italiano / Postmedia / Lars Muller

—  Simon Garfield. Sei proprio il mio typo. La vita segreta dei caratteri tipografici. Tea

—  Sergio Polano, Pierpaolo Vetta: Abecedario. Electa

—  Frutiger: Segni & simboli. Stampa Alternativa

—  Munari: Arte come mestiere. Laterza

—  Ellen Lupton: Caratteri, testo, gabbia. Guida critica alla progettazione grafica. Zanichelli

—  Kinross: Tipografia moderna. Stampa Alternativa

—  Pastoereau: Il piccolo libro dei colori. Ponte alla Grazie